Cellulite forms when fibrous bands called “septae,” which connect the skin to the underlying muscle fascia, tighten irregularly, pulling down on the skin, and/or begin to break down, allowing the normal layer of fat beneath the skin to push upward. This results in the puckering or “cottage cheese” appearance.
An estimated 85 to 90% of adult women have cellulite, typically on the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. The aging process can worsen the appearance of cellulite, as skin loses elasticity and is less able to resist irregular tension created by the fibrous bands. While overweight individuals tend to have more pronounced cellulite, it is common even in very lean women, and losing weight rarely gets rid of cellulite altogether.
There are three different levels of cellulite, which doctors determine based on the visibility of the cellulite. A patient’s cellulite level helps to determine which treatments will be the most effective.
WHAT ARE MY TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Many treatments use energy from radiofrequency (RF), ultrasound, infrared light, or radial pulses to heat skin, stimulate collagen production and reduce cellulite. Depending on the specific treatment, energy-based cellulite reduction may also help achieve mild fat reduction and/or relax the fibrous septae to achieve a smoother, more even skin texture.
Most patients receive 6-8 treatments per area. The exact number will depend on each individual person and the area being treated.